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Growth is God’s Design

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Creative Commons License photo credit: tribp

Colossians 2:19 The whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow.

Matthew 16:18 I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hell will not overcome it.

We should never have the mindset of, “well I don’t want my church to grow, I like it the size that it is.” Yea? Well, that’s too bad, because God wants his church to grow- and I think if it’s between what we want, or what God wants, God will win.

Loving people is hard work. If you’ve found a church home – it’s going to take hard work to continue to make it a home for others. And if you haven’t found a church home yet, if it still feels a little new that’s ok these things take time and we all have to work together.

Remember, for the early church, it was only a church if the people were there. And that’s no different today in 2013. When I walk through my church building during the week, I never think to myself that I am “at church” – it’s not church if the people are not there.

And so I want to show you three things we can all do.

1. We can be Prayers (1 Timothy 2:1-4)

I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.

Everyone can pray for the church’s outreach to be effective. Each Sunday do you wake up and pray for new faces at your church? That every seat would be full? And if not, why not? Isn’t that what we want?

It’s not just a cliché, prayer is where it all begins.

Eph 6:18-19 Pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

Pray for, for a movement of God in your neighborhood like never before.

Pray for your neighbors on your street, the kids in your child’s class, prayer for relationships and opportunities. Many of us could say we don’t have the opportunities to invite someone to church or to know someone new. Ok, then ask for the opportunity. And if you think you’re shy or weak then pray for boldness, and strength.

2. We can be Bringers

John 1:40-42 Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus. The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” And he brought him to Jesus.

Many of the events that your church has are specifically set up for you to invite your friends to; be a bringer.

Church programs aren’t just for Christians, I know by and large we think that Church programs usually attract Christians, but it’s the church’s job to love everyone. Being a lover is an action – love is something that you do and it’s something that you are.

And the truth is the best thing your church can offer your neighborhood, you probably have not even thought of it yet.

3. We can be Tellers

2 Timothy 4:5  Do the work of an evangelist

Personal invitation is the number one way any church grows. It was number one when Jesus started the church, and it’s still number one now. We could send out a postcard to every person in our neighborhood – to their home and the statistics say we will get 40 people or so to show up. Compare that with a personal invitation from each person in the church. If each one brought one, you’d double your size in one morning.

But numbers for numbers sake isn’t why we do this.

The church doesn’t grow because we want more buts in the seats and more bucks in the bank. Bigger isn’t always better, but if bigger means more people loving Jesus, if it means more committed disciples, if it means the Kingdom of God is growing, then yes of course – bigger is better.

 

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